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How to make your Giving Tuesday donations count for even more

This past weekend was all about buying the best deals and shopping for the holiday season, but on Tuesday, December 3, it’s about giving back. Giving Tuesday has evolved since it started in 2012, and there are lots of different ways to participate this year. 

Experts say that the way most people participate in Giving Tuesday is by donating to a cause they care about. This year, This year, PayPal is offering a 10% donation match, up to $600,000.

You can search for your favorite charity on PayPal’s fundraiser page, whether it’s a national nonprofit or a local cause. PayPal has participated in Giving Tuesday since 2012, and Dr. Una Osili said the company’s involvement is essential for the Giving Tuesday movement.

“The idea behind PayPal’s involvement is to bring more awareness intentionality to get people to think about the ways they can use their own influences to participate in generosity,” she said. 

Osili is a professor of economics and associate dean of Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and has been interested in and studying Giving Tuesday for years. She said there are more ways you can give than just by donating your money, such as volunteering, donating blood, crowdfunding, sharing causes that matter to you on social media, and more. 

Another way you can give back this year is by making your holiday shopping count at companies that also give back.

“We see millennials especially purchasing goods from a company that has a social mission,” she said. 

Companies known for being socially responsible either in terms of sustainability or through charity work include REI, Warby Parker, TOMS, Levi’s, Subaru, Patagonia, and more. According to Giving USA Foundation and Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, charitable giving by corporations increased to over $20 billion in 2018.

Osili said that technology overall has changed the way we can give over the years, and it has played a crucial role in donations and promotions. 

“I think technology does have the potential to reduce a lot of the barriers of giving,” she said. “It makes it easier for people to find the causes they care about and to find online opportunities for volunteering.” 

She said social media has played a significant role in that technology-fueled change of Giving Tuesday. 

“Giving Tuesday is activating the power of social networks…having social media allows everyone to play a role [in giving] and to be a part of spreading that message of generosity.”

People are doing this by sharing charities and nonprofits via social networks, as well as using birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones as opportunities for friends/family to donate to a charity through social media instead of giving gifts.

Of course, as with everything online, Osili said to do your research before donating, volunteering or promoting a charity or nonprofit. Especially in terms of crowdfunding, always be wary of the risks before committing your hard-earned money. 

Even if you don’t have much to give this Giving Tuesday, today is about more than just the dollar donations.

“Giving can be much broader when you lend a hand to a neighbor when you volunteer, or when you can share your experiences that can help influence someone else,” Osili said. 

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